We like to practice what we preach (we’re funny that way.) Before some of our design experts reveal our 2019 Event Trends at The Special Event (TSE) in San Diego on January 8–10, we’re taking a look at our Five Hottest Event Trends for 2018 and sharing how we put them into action throughout the year. We went bold, interactive, and like En Vogue, we gave our guests something they could feel.

Trend #1: Textiles

What We Said: “…Velvet is a soft fabric that’s here to stay. It’s now available in many colors and brings a touch of luxe that doesn’t feel over the top while elevating any setting…”

What We Did This Year: Velvet was just the start of it. Many of our designs fully immersed our guests in the looks and feels of their chosen destination. At a recent incentive program in Tennessee
(above left,) our Hello! Nashville creative designers envisioned a seating arrangement that would mimic the location’s beautiful surroundings. Guests felt like they were relaxing on the gently rolling hills nearby when they took a seat on the velvety soft green couches, and they felt the strength of the local trees with wooden chairs and coffee tables. For an elegant gala dinner, Hello! Florida (Central) enveloped guests in the lap of luxury with the use of specialty linens. With mermaid sequins that magically revealed a different color as guests ran their fingertips over them, these guests’ tables just begged to be touched.

Trend #2: Go Bold

Hello! Event Design - Go Bold


What We Said:“…You’ll [see] bold uses of color, like the Pantone® 2018 color of the year, Ultraviolet, that celebrates creativity and a strong point of view…Of course, at Hello!, purple is always our color of the year, but nevertheless, 2018 is the year of being big, bright, beautiful, and emboldened.”

What We Did This Year: When we said it needed to be big, bright, beautiful, and emboldened, we meant it. One of this year’s best examples was during a Hello! Florida (South) program where our teams recreated Miami’s popular Wynwood district (below); an up-and-coming neighborhood known for its trendy art and many colorful murals. After guests walked through a literal recreation of the actual gates of Wynwood, a brightly-colored yarn-wrapped tree became a focal point for the event as lounge groupings with different patterns added to the vibrancy.

Hello! South Florida Wynwood Walls

Trend #3: Interactive Food and Beverage Entertainment

Hello! Event Designs - Interactive Food and Beverage

What We Said: To truly surprise and delight your guests, we suggested using interactive food and beverage entertainment, such as radio-controlled quadcopters and Napkin Ladies.

What We Did This Year: We surprised guests with an upside-down umbrella ceiling that floated down appetizers and other goodies for attendees to nosh on (above) We didn’t stop there though; Hello! Arizona created an amazing arrival experience for a client (bottom right) where vintage bellhops greeted guests with custom choreographed dances to carry their bags and guide them to their one-of-a-kind registration area.

Hello! Event Designs - Interactive Food and Beverage 2

Trend #4: Geo Shapes

What We Said: “Geo shapes bring a print that is bold and versatile. The trend also flows into containers and furnishings, which add a playful detail to an otherwise basic item.”

Hello! Event Designs - Geo Shapes

What We Did This Year: This trend shaped up to be quite popular with our clients. Twinkling centerpieces served as the perfect mood lighting during evening or inside events, while others were filled with custom florals and accents that authentically showcased the destination. We created focal points by using geo shapes in various décor (bottom left,) and we even went big by combining some of our hottest trends, such as our Celestial Centennial event (bottom right) that used geo shape décor as well as soft velvety seating.

Hello! Event Designs - Geo Shapes 2

Trend #5: Designer Cocktails

What We Said: “A selfie never tasted so good! The selfie trend is expanding to become the garnish on guests’ cocktails with edible photographs…”

What We Did This Year: We stayed true to our word by gathering inspiration from the local destinations, event themes, selfie booths, and more to elevate an event’s playfulness and fun (now that’s what we call lip service!)

Hello! Event Design - Designer Cocktails SipMi

If you’re still reading at this point, you probably like what we do and are really interested to see more. Come visit us at TSE where we’ll be speaking and sharing some insight into how we became (and remain!) the Best in the Biz. If you can’t get to San Diego this year, follow us on social media to see what’s happening and discover our 2019 event trends:

Facebook: @hellodmc
Twitter: @hellodmc
Instagram: @hellodmc
Tuesday, January 8: 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Room 30A; Session Number D04
Speaker: Cameron Rust, CSEP: Senior National Asset Manager – Brand and Continuity


Cameron Rust Speaker The Special Event San Diego 2019


Bedtime or Story: A Tale of Storytelling and Immersion Transporting Attendees from Passive to Passionate

Once Upon a Time, in a world where branded pillows and custom linens don’t stay top of mind past the lobby bar, a (PACKED!) room of event professionals discovered ways to immerse and transport attendees from passive guests there for the open bar into brand evangelists. And they all lived happily ever after…”

Wednesday, January 9: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Room 30A; Session Number D09

First-Person Design
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Come behold the design styles of four up-and-coming stars! Inspiring and practical, this session has something for everyone and the means to get it.


First Person Design Speakers The Special Event San Diego 2019
Tressa Rini
Event Designer
Hello! Arizona
Jordan Bickel
Producer/Event Designer
Hello! Florida (Central)
Vanessa Lopez
Executive Producer/
Department Director
Hello! Florida (South)
 Patrick Peel
   Senior Producer/
Event Designer
   Hello! Las Vegas
Mark Wells
Senior Vice President, Creative Services
Hello! DMC